Most riders get into problems with a horse and that single thing then become compounded strictly by the body language of the rider. Let’s say that your horse becomes startled by some object, the horse will stop and take a good hard look at it and then determine if it has met this crisis before in their life. Plus, the horse has given you time to react with guidance and how you react in the next few seconds is crucial. Any action that you take at this point will be transferred to body language that will determine how the horse will react to the situation at hand. Here is what most riders of today do; the rider totally tenses up throughout their entire body, they grab a hold of the reins and pull back and their legs clamp tightly around the barrel of the horse. Both the mind of the horse and yours are racing at the speed of the Daytona 500.
So let’s look at what you relayed to the horse through your body language and actions.
1. Your body tensed up means that you are fearful of an even greater threat they have found – after all you are supposed to be in charge here and if you are ready to run away from this situation the horse most certainly will not want to stay around.
2. The next was the grabbing of the reins and then pulling back on the bit. That relayed to them that you are wanting to stop and stop right now! No second guessing here as well as the increased pressure of the bit becomes painful. So now the horse has to contend with pain along with the fear factor. Here is where it starts to compound the initial problem.
3. Once that you clamp your legs around the horse it is the same as if someone came up behind you and suddenly grabbed you around the waist. You go straight up in the air and you are startled, it is no different for the horse except with the horse’s inability to try to process all of this information at one time; the horse will revert back to the instinctual thing to do – RUN and BOLT!
It is at this point in time that you have totally lost control of the situation and there is no way to easily get control back, in fact the horse will bolt to get out of there so fast that their only concern is their own preservation since they now feel that they cannot depend on you for guidance. So it is at this point you will most likely end up on the ground and the horse quite a distance from you.
The next post will continue with how to take control of this same situation and give the horse the guidance that they are looking for.
What are your thoughts?......
So until then “Ride for the Brand”.